Ransomware Roundup: Indiana county suffers crippling attack, pays ransom

ransomawareOfficials in Madison Country, Ind. paid cybercriminals to get their digital files back following a devastating ransomware attack that knocked systems offline and forced police and government workers to rely on pen and paper for days, according to a report in The Herald Bulletin. The attack temporarily took out nearly all county services and police couldn’t use their computers to bring up prior reports or book people into jail. Madison Country Commissioner John Richwine, who did not reveal the amount of the ransom demand, said the county’s insurance provider will cover the payment minus a deductible. The incident should serve as a reminder to all local government offices to back up their data. A high-quality backup and disaster recovery system protects data from ransomware and ensures that victims will never need to pay the ransom.

Data breach victims targeted with ransomware
Cybercriminals are targeting victims of the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breaches with Locky ransomware, according to a report on Bleeping Computer. The personal information of more than 22 million people was stolen in the OPM data breaches—and security software firm PhishMe says many of those victims are receiving malicious emails disguised as OPM alerts. The phony emails warn the recipient about a “series of suspicious bank operations” and asks them to download an attachment with more information. But once opened, the attachment installs Locky ransomware and victims’ files are encrypted. “The Locky threat actors once again demonstrate their unscrupulous nature and willingness to exploit the misfortune of others at any step in their delivery and infection process,” PhishMe’s Threat Intelligence Manager Brendan Griffin told ZDNet.

Survey: Most ransomware emails through filters
Security software firm Barkly surveyed 60 companies that were hit by successful ransomware attacks over the past year and found that the vast majority of phishing emails that contain ransomware get through security filters. Among the survey’s findings:

  • 77% of attacks bypassed email filtering solutions
  • 95% of attacks bypassed victims’ firewalls
  • 54% of attacks bypassed anti-malware solutions

The findings prove that ransomware is tough to detect. That’s why it’s important to mitigate the threat by investing in the right backup and recovery solution.

For even more ransomware news and information, visit the FightRansomare.com homepage today!

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